I am finally here in Aotearoa!!!!!
I am ecstatic about this moment. I remember when I was informed about this fellowship and I thought to myself ” This is perfect for me and I must go for it” and then the self doubt began. Am I good enough? What about my full time job? What about my living arrangements? Would they care for what an African woman living in the U.S has to say? Would they care that I am not a trained classical dancer? Would they care that I am not a stick figured dancer? What if they don’t understand my accent? Are there black people there? (this was before I found out the meaning of black in Aotearoa is different from where I live). I pushed through all the doubts and moved forward with the application. The application process was much simpler than I had expected. I had to send in a proposal about what I planned on doing through a paper and an unedited video. I had so much anxiety around making the video. I looked through youtube and could not find any previous winners of the fellowship posted. I had one week left to go before the deadline and no video. A friend suggested the interview style I used which made it less nerve racking and it worked. I had sent in numerous proposals which all got rejected so why would this time be different? sent it in with crossed fingers hoping they wouldn’t judge all the background noise and my hair (its a black girl thing to be worried about the perception of the hair). It was less than perfect but because of the timeline, I sent it in anyway. I prayed that it would be selected. I envisioned myself jumping up and down from hearing the good news. Once it was submitted, the anxiety dissipated and all I had control over was my mantras, visualizations and positive thoughts.
Photo Credit : Jade Beall
I am super excited to share with the world this wonderful news. I have been awarded a fellowship to work with a population that is near and dear to my heart women, children and their family. Check out the press release below.
In my last blog post, The Uzo Method Project- A Public Health Solution- Community Based Resource Center for PMAD, I shared some research data that shows the importance of music and dance on energy and stress levels. This curiosity about music and dance continues as I continue to tie my graduate studies work to the power of music and dance. I am striving to build the relationship between being a health care provider in public health nursing and my gift and passion for dance, it is a no brainer to explore and study the best way to merge the two disciplines and worlds.
I was fortunate to be awarded this fellowship at the University of Otago. Yes!!!!! I am going to Aeotoera (New Zealand) as the 2015 Caroline Plummer Dance Fellow. I get to live my dreams combining dance with Maternal and Child Health nursing. This opportunity involves working with the community members of Dunedin NZ as well as the health care providers exploring the culture and perceptions around pre-natal and post-partum mood disorders (PPMD). This would lead to an informed community dance experience and a performance/arts installation at the end.The goal of my Maternal-Child Dance project is to share cultural ideologies around PPMD and engage in community awareness of the benefits of music and dance as a support for the mother, babies and their families and communities as a whole as members experience disturbances due to PPMD.
I wonder what it would be like if nurses, nurse home visitors, nurse midwives, doulas, lactation consultants, OB/GYNs, mental health providers, and family members used music and movement as a part of relieving the anxiety, preventing further depression, decreasing stress, building community, developing positive pathways in the brain, building relationships, improving caregiver child interaction, and improving communication through everyday practice.
Founder Uzo Method Project